THE FIRST SPECIAL DISCUSSION FOR THE OFFICIAL PRIDE SITE
08/01/2005

 

       

 

"Show" Yasuaki Otani (hereafter, Pride): Today will be the first round-table talk we've had for the official PRIDE site.
Tarzan Yamamoto: I'm the master of round-table talks! I'm going to stir up lots of trouble on the official PRIDE site.
Pride: First, let's have a word from Mr. Yamamoto, a round-table master, the oldest participant and has the longest career.
Yamamoto: A word from me?! I'd be happy to. You did invite me to dinner, after all.
Noboru Yamaguchi: Mr. Yamamoto, I'm just going to say it plainly. They didn't invite you here just to eat!
Nobuyuki Sakakibara: (laughing)
Yamamoto: I know! I'm going to say everything today! I'll make it clear. June 26th was the most exciting day ever for PRIDE.
Sakakibara: What was exciting?
Yamamoto: It was perfect! Of course, there are lots of things that I'd like to see but the even creation and the presentation! ... In particular, that neon lighting that revolved around the upper seats.
Yamaguchi: Neon! I think your description is more perfect than the event. (laughing)
Pride: Weren't those revolving lights there before?
Yamamoto: This was the first time to use lettering, wasn't it? That kind of detail is really important. On top of that, there were 4 Grand Prix matches and 3 special matches, and that weird match with Tamura. The setup was outstanding.
Yamaguchi: That weird match with Tamura. (laughing)
Yamamoto: All of it. Not just the opening, the semi-finals or the main event. You could enjoy every single match.
Yamaguchi: So, each of the fights had its own theme?
Yamamoto: Including having Kharitonov in the first match. As a martial arts event, it was put together extremely well. You could enjoy it whether you were there for the entire event or just for a single match. That's why it was perfect! I'm not just saying this to...
Pride: I see. You're not kissing up.
Sakakibara: (laughing)
Yamaguchi: But, basically, you are kissing up, right? (laughing)
Yamamoto: No. Remember? I'm the one that says K-1 is just trying to get ratings with those weird martial arts (events).
Yamaguchi: If this was the K-1 official site, though, you'd say, "those weird martial arts (events) are perfect for this age!!!" (laughing)
Yamamoto: ... No. That's interesting when you watch it on TV... they are fine how they are!
Pride: Oh, getting angry now. (laughing)
Yamamoto: No. We've enjoyed watching live events since Rikidosan's time. Currently, PRIDE is the one that satisfies us in that sense. So, I'm still consistent in what I'm saying!
Pride: Mr. Sakakibara! Mr. Yamamoto thinks the June 26 th PRIDE was perfect.
Sakakibara: I'm happy that Mr. Yamamoto would say that. I think that's fine. Maybe we should just leave it as a mystery. I think if we go further into it, he'll start criticizing us. (laughing)
Pride: You know him well. (laughing)
Yamamoto: No. It was a reeeeeeaaaally high-level event. I think it was perfect! On average, higher than an 80 or 90. Of course, there are things that I wish you had done, naturally. The way you put it on, your strategy, was really easy to understand.
Yamaguchi: Saying that you wanted the results to be a certain way and saying the overall concept and direction were good or bad are different. For example, something like "if I had my way, I wish Sakuraba had won." You must have been unsatisfied with something.
Yamamoto: That's impossible!
Pride: Huh? Impossible?
Yamamoto: Sakuraba was the secret MVP, right? He made Arona fight a hateful fight, after all. Stuff like Arona putting his fingers in Sakuraba's eyes like this. There's no one but Sakuraba that can make someone fight like that.
Pride: So, Sakuraba is great but he brought Arona out of his shell?
Yamamoto: Well, until now Arona has been... I shouldn't say this but... he's always been defensive and never attacks. He fights to not lose and win in the decision. In short, he fights as if the fans are not there but this time, it was a great fight. With that fight, the value of Arona's stock rose.
Sakakibara: There were probably a lot of people would imagined that Arona would win but I don't think there was anyone that expected him to win the way he did.
Yamaguchi: They probably assumed that he would win by a boring decision. I don't think there were many people that expected the fight to turn out like it did or end like it did.
Sakakibara: But, Sakuraba's face was incredibly swollen. The length that he was willing to go was amazing and it exceeded the limits of what can be shown on TV.
Yamamoto: Until now, PRIDE's spirit, DSE'S way of thinking, has been about having a sports-like competition with rules. The fight was already won but when was the referee going to stop the fight or Sakuraba's corner man throw the towel. Sakuraba is the one that made it that way, right? It was Sakuraba's will that brought out that fight. That's why Sakuraba is elite. You have to appreciate Sakuraba!
Sakakibara: His face was on the spread of FRIDAY [popular magazine in Japan]. I think most people would turn away from looking at it. But, I think that if you are going to get beat, you should be beaten thoroughly. Actually, I think it was good that he fought that far, his face being destroyed that way.
Pride: Having his picture in a scandal magazine proves that Sakuraba fighting that far and his face becoming like that is an "incident."
Yamamoto: You have to look at the rules because of that fight. PRIDE, which has always put the rules first, has expanded its territory a bit. Sakuraba has created a new view of PRIDE, that it can go that far. I don't think it's suitable for free TV, though.
Sakakibara: That scene got a 19.6% rating.
Yamamoto: That's what I mean. A completely different thing has emerged, different than the PRIDE that has heretofore kept the rules above all else. It was an unimaginable turn of events. I have to give that the greatest possible evaluation!
Sakakibara: I think there's a hint in there. (Sakuraba) has probably been beaten more magnificently than anyone else in PRIDE. Although, Takayama's face was swollen after Don Frye punched him.
Yamamoto: It exceeded that!
Sakakibara: Yes, it did.
Yamaguchi: Both of Saku's eyes were swollen shut.
Sakakibara: Both of his eyes were shut and blood was coming from his nose, his ears, and his mouth, everywhere.
Yamaguchi: Not just one side. Both eyes were swollen shut and the way it looked was a gruesome picture. If all of the fighters really went at each other, they would end up like that, too. Sakuraba looked mortified. It's a paradox but that bringing that scene out was probably fortunate.
Yamamoto: I want to emphasize that it was Sakuraba's pro-wrestler genetics that made him do that! That's his nature! If he was just a fighter or an athlete, he wouldn't take it that far and his corner men would have stopped it earlier.
Sakakibara: I think that Saku letting his face be damaged so much will be an asset for his in the future. To PRIDE, that battle showed that it is clearly more than just a sport. It does have that kind of barbaric aspect and I think it proved that there is a line separating PRIDE and other rings.
Yamamoto: It is a sport but you have to show parts that clearly exceed sports. That's the original image of true martial arts.
Sakakibara: If this were boxing, the fight would have ended at the first doctor check. That's fine and boxing has its own good points but if that's what happened, there would be nothing for the fans. Because of Sakuraba's gruesome scene, there is criticism arising, even now, about the basis of PRIDE, asking if this should continue. I'm definitely not glorifying gruesome scenes, though.
Yamamoto: Martial arts is war, right? You either live or you die, so I think it's fine to have that kind of thing. It's more than fine!
Pride: I'm definitely for keeping it. Rather, I don't want to think about what it would be like without it.
Yamamoto: Mr. Sakakibara! Blood is a good thing! It's very persuasive!
Pride: It doesn't require any questions and answers, does it?
Yamamoto: That red blood was not an everyday occurrence! When people see blood, they turn away but at the same time, they want to watch. That feeling is entwined in our genes.
Pride: There is a feeling where you want to see scary things.
Yamamoto: It really brings out those feelings!
Sakakibara: There were probably viewers that watched that scene on TV and felt uncomfortable but I think that feeling will change into support for Saku.
Yamamoto: Thanks to that fight, Sakuraba has freed himself.
Sakakibara: You think it freed him? He called me the day after the fight. He was laughing and asked me to put together his next fight soon.
Pride: What an amazing guy!
Sakakibara: Saku lost to Arona for only one reason. Power. Other than that, he didn't lose anything. That's why he's getting bigger. He wants to build a body that doesn't lose the head-to-head fight. That's the only thing he's thinking of right now. Apparently, he was at 91kg when he fought Wanderlei for the 3 rd time but he was 86~87kg this time. Arona barely made 93kg at the weigh-in on the day before. If he gained 2~3kg by the fight on the next day, there would have been about a 10kg difference in weight. Sakuraba can probably make his body bigger if he works hard. He can't get taller but he can get heavier. Sakuraba declared that's what he's going to work on from now on.
Yamamoto: Talking about basic body composition, foreign fighters are big boned and large-framed. We're a farming people with short legs to cultivate the fields with. It's a huge handicap.
Sakakibara: Having a 10kg weight difference is definitely a handicap but until now, increasing his body size has been the one thing Sakuraba hasn't worked on. He has always just sparred with no weight training.
Yamaguchi: Saku was 87kg at the weigh-ins on the day before but he was 86kg on the day of the fight. Why did he lose weight!? (laughing) When I met Saku on the day of the fight, after the weigh-ins, he said he had passed. He also said that had only lifted weights once this year.
Yamamoto: The only thing we can do is not expect more than necessary from Sakuraba. We should just let him fight freely, rather than making matches with great expectations. For the immediate future, anyway. That's what I think.
Yamaguchi: Like, Sakuraba vs. El Solar? (laughing)
Pride: I think that would put even more pressure on him. (laughing)
Yamamoto: No, I mean like tournaments and title matches. Rather than that kind of really important matches, he should be in matches that allow him to be free. We want to see "Sakuraba World", after all. Like his entrance scene.
Sakakibara: I understand. I think his next comeback will be in October. I hope he will make his body bigger and fly back to the PRIDE ring like the phoenix. Imagine a new Sakuraba, completely opposite of the one that had that horrible experience.
Yamamoto: So, get rid of words like "comeback", "return" and "phoenix." Wouldn't it be better if you go to the event and think "wow" when Sakuraba is on the card?
Pride: In theory, yes. Even if it's goes well that way for a while, I don't want to see a Sakuraba that turns his back on tournaments and title matches.
Yamamoto: Who cares about that?
Pride: What??
Yamaguchi: The hurdle for "Sakuraba World" is set too high. Of course, if I were asked if I want to see "Sakuraba World" in special event kind of meaning, as Mr. Yamamoto said, I would have to say that I do want to see it. However, I think we saw the true "Sakuraba World" when he went up against top-class fighters, like Wanderlei and Arona, and their explosive rushes. The "Sakuraba World" of the past may be okay for a while but the fans are cruel. You will hear their voices soon, demanding more. It's an extremely cruel desire given his age but Sakuraba has to choose which road he will take and how he will live. Depending on which direction he independently chooses, the way the event can make use of him will change.
Sakakibara: I'm thinking of having Sakuraba get bigger and enter next year's Heavyweight Grand Prix. (laughing)
Yamaguchi: (laughing) That would be amazing! Then, in the next year, he could enter the BUSHIDO Grand Prix as a light middleweight. (laughing) Well, if he can come our like a ghost and envelop us in smoke, that would be interesting but I think that Saku has become stuck in the trap of enveloping us in smoke. That's what I'm worried about and no matter what he chooses, I hope he will break away from that.
Pride: I see. Do you think there will be fights that differ from PRIDE's true nature?
Yamamoto: Sure. It would be more interesting if you let someone besides Sakuraba take care of the tournaments. (small voice) He can fight like Kiyoshi Tamura.
Pride: Why the small voice all of a sudden? (laughing)
Sakakibara: (laughing)
Yamamoto: I have to say interesting things cleverly.
Yamaguchi: But won't fighting in that kind of special match make Saku angry? (laughing) I feel that Saku's upset that Tamura won't come out to the frontlines, to the Grand Prix or for a title match, and that, in a broad meaning, he's not willing to be the poster boy (for PRIDE).
Yamamoto: Who cares? Carrying the Grand Prix, carrying PRIDE, carrying the martial arts world. All of that is just a pain in the ass. Let (Sakuraba) live like Tamura and give Tamura and Sakuraba special positions. From now on, that is!
Yamaguchi: You just lay it out there plainly, don't you? Not wanting to be responsible for things that are difficult but still want to be free. That's exactly what your current position is, Yamamoto. Because of you, this entire industry is in a special-match category. (laughing)
Pride: Definitely. Considering his past record, I understand why he would be given that position. I don't understand why Tamura has risen to the position of special guest star, though. (laughing)
Yamamoto: Sakuraba is the yin and Tamura is the yang. If both of them fight as special guests, it will be exciting!
Yamaguchi: Tamura is an amazing guy. On the same day that Saku went up against a much bigger, top-level opponent, and fought until his face became that horrific, (Tamura) fought a slow, boring match, letting the gold medallist get the best of him. I can only think that he must have been doing it on purpose! He was scared, really.
Yamamoto: He was doing that on purpose form the beginning!
Pride: I see. It wasn't because of the flow of the fight. He did it from the beginning. (laughing)
Yamamoto: It became that way when he got the offer.
Sakakibara: Is that right? (laughing)
Yamamoto: Tamura isn't responsible for anything, is he? Nobody expects anything from him, anyway.
Yamaguchi: No, people have expectations of him.
Sakakibara: Don't people expect things of him?
Yamamoto: He's only responsible for U-FILE, right?
Yamaguchi: U-FILE and himself. (laughing) Sakuraba and Tamura are really contrasting. It's scary how contrasting they are.
Yamamoto: They are the same in that attention is put on them, though. Tamura sells that image so the spotlight will be put on him. It's impressive.
Yamaguchi: When Sakuraba wants the spotlight on himself, he goes straight out and tries to get it with his own strength.
Pride: Is Tamura trying to sneak in through the back door? (laughing)
Yamaguchi: That's a good what to put it. (laughing)
Yamamoto: Well, they are both shy. That generation is absurdly shy. Even Sakuraba wears masks, hiding his true self, and trying to connect that to a win.
Sakakibara: That's true.
Yamamoto: He's different than the image of cool heroes that we've had before. He wants attention to be on him. That's why he does those unusual entrances. It's basically like a less-than-beautiful woman trying her best to get attention. It's heroic.
Yamaguchi: It's not admirable! Saku's image suits Saku and Tamura is just an ugly woman. (laughing)
Yamamoto: It looks heroic to me.
Yamaguchi: I see. Mr. Yamamoto thinks that ugly women are heroic. (laughing)
Pride: He likes ugly women! (laughing)
Yamaguchi: If Sakuraba and Tamura were women, you would like Tamura more, wouldn't you?
Yamamoto: I'd love him.
Yamaguchi: Saku's a bright, good girl. Even if she does have a lot of jumbled emotions hidden away. (laughing)
Yamamoto: ... .I want to ask Mr. Sakakibara about something. Honestly, did Tamura's fight make you angry?
Sakakibara: Tamura's fight... yes, but I kind of expected it to turn out like that.
Pride: You did?
Sakakibara: I thought that he would bring an incredibly boring fight. (laughing)
Yamamoto: Did Fuji Television expect that kind of fight?
Sakakibara: They expected it.
Yamamoto: If it were me, I would have said from the beginning that this fight isn't suitable for TV. If you don't say that, Tamura's just playing you for a sucker with that kind of fight.
Sakakibara: Yes, depending on how you look at it, that was definitely a criminal fight.
Yamamoto: Even so, didn't he do his best, heroically, to extend his own (sports) life? (laughing) As far as cheap tricks to extend your career go, he's a genius. Because if he loses, it's over.
Sakakibara: True. Tamura had no choice but to win this time.
Pride: He definitely had to win.
Yamamoto: After the fight, he said that he came to win but he's not usually that honest.
Yamaguchi: Depending on how you look at it, he's a guy that no one wants, trying to sell himself to PRIDE.
Pride: Even though no one wants him. (laughing)
Yamamoto: I want him!
Yamaguchi: By "no one", I meant no one besides the fans. Industry insiders and the press aren't putting any pressure on Tamura. Tamura's image is of a guy trying to start a fight with PRIDE all by himself.
Yamamoto: That's the only way Tamura can prove himself! That's the only way he knows.
Sakakibara: I understand that.
Yamamoto: But! That style is also acceptable. It's in the 1%. I hope that that style will be accepted in small numbers, even though the promoters will think that it's a problem. (laughing)
Sakakibara: In that sense, though, it was a fight fitting Tamura.
Yamaguchi: It's completely "Tamura's World." It's like, even if the opponent wants to enter Tamura's territory, he can't. It's a match that you can enjoy in a weird way. I said earlier that it was a boring fight but, personally, I think it was really interesting. The people around me think it was boring though, so I have to be considerate of them. (laughing) To new PRIDE fans that fight probably didn't make much sense, though.
Sakakibara: That guy understands what kind of fight that people, including the fans, want to see, in many different ways. I think that he knows and still fighting that kind of fight is the reason Kiyoshi Tamura is who Kiyoshi Tamura is. In the end, he came out (to the PRIDE ring) for us. At that time, I had a bad feeling at that time that it would turn into a fight like this.
Yamaguchi: Tamura is hard to deal with and making people have a bad feeling when he appears is one of his ways of intimidation.
Sakakibara: Even so, he responded to everyone's wishes and came out, didn't he? That fight is a mystery, though. Maybe he wanted to say with that fight "Mr. Sakakibara, fans, insiders, DSE, press. You imagined a certain kind of fight when I came out but you made a big mistake." (laughing)
Pride: If that's so, he's a horrible guy. (laughing)
Yamamoto: For an event, though, you've got to have a card to play in the end.
Sakakibara: Yes, that's necessary.
Yamamoto: Tamura usually comes out at the very end of the very end, after most of the card has been finalized. He throws a lifeline to us old pro-wrestling fans. Playing his card at the very end completes a giant blueprint. I think that's one way of looking at Tamura's value.
Sakakibara: Yes, I can understand that.
Yamamoto: I want you to appreciate that!
Yamaguchi: No one said that it wasn't appreciated it! I think DSE fully appreciates Kiyoshi Tamura.
Sakakibara: We wanted him in the end, of course.
Yamamoto: Realistically, it probably turns out like that but as part of a blueprint, or a menu, he increases expectations.
Sakakibara: It's really different depending on whether he will fight or not.
Yamamoto: It is different but isn't it good for guys like him to be there?
Sakakibara: I think they should.
Pride: Mr. Sakakibara is very generous.
Sakakibara: No, no. I think that's his true way of life.
Yamamoto: No! Why didn't Takimoto go all out in a suicide attack, since he had nothing to lose? I think Takimoto is the one that was bad! He came out in the 3 rd round but he should have done that from the beginning!
Sakakibara: Takimoto also had opportunities to keep the fight from ending like that.
Yamamoto: But he fought lazily, didn't he?
Sakakibara: He was completely caught up in Tamura's pace.
Yamamoto: That was because they hadn't done their pre-fight research, including the corner men. I think one problem in that fight is that he should have been able to seize the moment and change the fight, but he didn't even try.
Sakakibara: I think his corner men wanted to let him go at it.
Yamamoto: He should have! We'll never know what would have happened if he did.
Sakakibara: He probably could have taken him down to the ground where he is better. He wasn't able to find a way to win the way that he fought. When the fight was over, Takimoto and his group were upset.
Yamamoto: Anger and regret. A sense of regret must be horrible. Tamura was front-kicking him like you'd kick a low-level fighter.
Pride: That's right. He did front-kick him.
Yamamoto: He had no respect for the gold medal.
Yamaguchi: That front-kick was Kiyoshi Tamura's true essence. Kiyoshi Tamura is the only pro-wrestler that truly wanted to prove that pro-wrestlers are better than gold medallists. If he thought he status was less (than Takimoto's), he wouldn't have thrown that front-kick.
Pride: That's probably it.
Yamaguchi: Not just in PRIDE, but also in other MMA organizations and K-1, when pro-wrestlers fight, it's usually a suicide mission. Everyone watching pro-wrestling now, including pro-wrestlers themselves, fans and insiders, knows that the strength of pro-wrestling is just a fantasy. Kiyoshi Tamura is the only one among them that truly believes that pro-wrestlers are better than gold medallists, that UWF is better than a gold medal. He wants to prove that. That's what Tamura feels responsible for. That's hard to understand in these modern times, though.
Yamamoto: If I were Takimoto, I'd say that I don't need the gold medal. I'd throw it away and fight.
Pride: I remember reading an article before the fight where Mr. Yamamoto wrote, "Takimoto should bet his gold medal on the fight with Tamura and whoever wins gets to keep the gold medal." I wondered about that when I read it. (laughing)
Sakakibara: (laughing)
Yamamoto: Takimoto has to see through Tamura's narrow-minded personality and do something to disrupt him. That's what strategy is, right?
Sakakibara: I don't think Takimoto is that warped.
Yamaguchi: Takimoto is warped too but the degree of warp may not be as strong. (laughing)
Sakakibara: Takimoto thinks that you have to fight fair, both fighters using everything they have.
Yamaguchi: He's warped into a sports category.
Yamamoto: No, Mr. Yamaguchi. If it were sports, they wouldn't fight fairly, would they?
Yamaguchi: There are a lot of different types (of people) in sports.
Sakakibara: If that were the case, he would do whatever it takes to get the win, even if it's against the rules. When I see Takimoto and Yoshida, they don't try to get around the rules or go right up against the rules to bother their opponent. In Takimoto's mind, there is no strategy to fight like Tamura and have your hand raised at the decision. Those aren't his values.
Pride: Now that he has fight experience, how will Takimoto come out next? There's a lot of expectation for him, isn't there?
Yamamoto: There is.
Pride: I think he will come out ready to die.
Yamaguchi: I'd like to see Tamura vs. Takimoto again.
Pride: I'd like to see it, if they do it.
Yamaguchi: Tamura won't... I'm 5,000% sure he won't do it.
Pride: Tamura wins and runs away.
Yamaguchi: If you say that, he may accept. (laughing) After beating Takimoto, he didn't ask for Sakuraba. He had the nerve to ask for Hidehiko Yoshida. That's amazing, isn't it? You could feel people pulling away from his then. (laughing) It was something you don't see recently.
Pride: That's because it was right after that fight. (laughing) Tamura also said that his fight cast a chill over the event (in an interview on the following day).
Yamaguchi: I don't know if it was a chill or if the fans just didn't know how to react to that fight. Then he brought out the unheard of idea of U-FILE vs. Yoshida Dojo.
Yamamoto: Mr. Yamaguchi, you're just harassing him! If I were Mr. Sakakibara, I'd be really angry.
Sakakibara: (laughing)
Yamamoto: I think all of the insiders thought that this guy has a lot of nerve.
Yamaguchi: I thought he was impressive, rather than having a lot nerve. You can't normally say that kind of thing in front of 45,000 people. (laughing) There was not a single person there looking forward to a U-FILE vs. Yoshida Dojo match.
Yamamoto: Nobody knows that!
Yamaguchi: It's not the first step but Tamura is writing some story that only Kiyoshi Tamura knows where it comes from. Tamura was challenging PRIDE to see if he could write it to the end or not.
Pride: Did Tamura really think that far ahead?
Yamaguchi: He must have. He had to win first before he could say that.
Yamamoto: That was an inconvenience for Mr. Sakakibara.
Sakakibara: It's the right of whoever wins.
Yamamoto: What I want to say is that I hope the fans will talk more about what we are saying now. How it should be. How it shouldn't be. Whether it's about Sakuraba or Tamura, they should talk about how it should be.
Sakakibara: That's a good idea!
Yamamoto: It will be even more exciting if you create that kind of mood. It's already exciting, locally. You have to expand that to the general public. To the fans. There is the Sakuraba way of living and the Tamura way of living. Ask them how they feel about that way of living? How do they feel about Tamura's way of living? Ask them if they accept it or deny it.
Sakakibara: Yes, yes.
Yamamoto: I want that kind of salon to get wider and wider.
Yamaguchi: Salon. (laughing)
Sakakibara: I think so, too.
Yamamoto: After all, we are going out to see how men live!
Sakakibara: Or their reason for living. You can really see their reason for living from Sakuraba's fights and Tamura's fights. That's what I want then to talk about.
Yamamoto: That's your fortune, right? That's the giant oil reserve in the martial arts world we live in! I want all of the fans to think about that and use it in their daily lives! Don't you think so?
Sakakibara: I do think so.
Yamamoto: I think that's a role for entertainment to play.
Sakakibara: That's not just Sakuraba and Tamura. It's the same for Mirko-like way of life.
Yamamoto: Yes, exactly! Why does Mirko chase after Fedor so hard? He's a stalker! Ask them how they feel about that. And about Fedor's way of life. Is that okay, too?
Sakakibara: (laughing)
Pride: Let's end it here with Mr. Sakakibara's laugh, until the next time.
[Recorded in July, 2005. Interviewer: "Show" Yasuaki Otani]
T arzan Yamamoto! (right)
F ormer Editor of "Shuken Proresu". Always delivering biting commentary about world of the ring from the fans" perspective. Has raised many so-called "Tarzan Children", the centripetal fans. On the other hand, he often gets nasty looks for organization insiders. He led a forceful life with no rules for many years but recently he has to count calories everyday as he eats.
N oboru Yamaguchi (left)
C hief Editor of "Kami no Puroresu RADICAL", the magazine that professes to be an industry magazine, pro-wrestling with the world. On paper, he's called a brute but many people value his independent viewpoint and production capabilities.
N obuyuki Sakakibara (center)
O perates the mixed martial arts event PRIDE. Chief Executive Officer of Dream Stage Entertainment. His idea of having the people who actually watch PRIDE get even more excited was the reason for today's meeting.